CDs Aren't Dead Yet — Surprise!

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slideIllustrated by Sydney Hass.
Good news: You don't have to be ashamed of that sweet CD collection in your car anymore. Even though streaming music and all-digital-everything seems like the name of the game these days, it turns out those shiny silver discs are still pretty important. Forbes contributor Bobby Owsinski hypothesizes on why CDs have a bit more staying power than we all thought, and his three reasons are pretty, um, sound, if you ask us.

First off, CD sales still account for a sizable chunk of record companies' overall profits — $2.5 billion in revenue in 2012, to be exact, which is roughly 35% of the income of the entire U.S. music industry. And, Owsinski notes, those profits don't include off-the-books sales of albums by indie musicians. His second reason? Some people — and yes, they exist — still prefer to buy hard copies of albums. Hey, if there are still magazine, book, and newspaper readers who opt for the tangible experience over the online edition, it makes sense that the same would hold true for music lovers, right?

Finally, Owsinski chalks up the CD's enduring lifespan in part to music critics. "Reviewers just don’t take digital-only releases seriously, especially for newer artists, and unless a writer has that bright and shiny disc in his hands, the release doesn’t count," he theorizes. While we're not 100% sure that every music critic thinks this way, we'll give him a pass and say two solid reasons out of three ain't bad. Plus, it makes us feel a little better when we roll down the windows and crank our scratched copy of Jagged Little Pill. (Forbes)